Research from analyst firm Frost & Sullivan predicts that by 2015, NFC will be the most-used solution for mobile payments with total sales in Europe reaching €41.9 billion (£33.8bn). Despite this, Maria José Gonçalves, retail market director at WeDo Technologies, says retailers technology is not keeping pace with market demands and needs and asks “why?”
NFC, more than any other type of payment technology has a wide variety of stakeholders involved in developing initiatives; vendors, retailers, merchants, content providers, mobile operators and banks. But Gonçalves said the reality of the situation is that not all of these stakeholders are ready for NFC and, as a result, some retailers are forging ahead and developing their own solutions. Starbucks, for example, launched its own mobile payment solution at the end of last year that allows customers to pay instore via its mobile phone application.
Gonçalves explained: “Although these solutions seem to be catering to shifting market trends in the short term, if more retailers follow suit there will be an increased risk of market segmentation that leads to inconsistency in the consumer experience. Furthermore, retailers that are unfamiliar with mobile fraud tactics and communications infrastructure open themselves and their customers up to security risks which could cause long term damage to reputations that take years to build. Particularly if retailers are found to have been less than thorough in initial risk assessments or fail to put in place robust anti-fraud solutions to combat these cyber assaults.”
Gonçalves called for a technology that will improve the overall consumer experience: “And this can only be achieved through collaboration of all the main stakeholders. Vendors, retailers, merchants, content providers, mobile operators and banks need to start singing from the same hymn sheet in order to meet consumer demand and accelerate the adoption of NFC; compatible equipment needs to be implemented and made widely available and stakeholders should be working together to identify and fix any possible security risks. Then, and only then, will we see the shift in consumer behaviour needed to make NFC mainstream.”
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